Coles makes urgent appeal as it battles to keep up with customer demand

While supermarkets desperately try to keep up with the increased demand in response to the COVID-19 crisis, Coles has employed thousands of workers across the country.

In just two weeks Coles has recruited more than 7000 workers to meet demand, while a further 5000 workers are still needed.

The new recruits have been fast-tracked and deployed at supermarkets and liquor stores across Australia.

The new hires come from a vast range of industries and businesses, many of which who were stood down in the travel, sport, fitness and hospitality sectors, according to Coles.

“Coles is doing everything we can to support jobs and the economy through this challenging time, while also ensuring we can provide groceries for all Australians,” Coles CEO Steven Cain said in a statement.

Coles has hired more than 7000 new team members across Australia to meet the increased demand. Source: Getty

Mr Cain added the company had been “overwhelmed” by the volume of applications.

“To ensure we could act quickly, we streamlined our recruitment processes and assigned a dedicated team to fast-track applications sent by corporate partners like Australian Venue Company and Virgin Australia,” he said.

“We have seen a lot of demand for roles, and where we have positions available, we are making sure that we can get people into them as quickly as possible.”

More than 6500 casual roles have been offered by Coles since the recruitment drive began, as have 430 part-time and 80 full-time positions.

Woolworths has also announced they would be looking to hire at least 20,000 extra people across the business to meet demand.

“We realise these are uncertain times and know that Woolworths has an important role to play in keeping as many Australians employed as possible,” Woolworths CEO Brad Banducci said in a statement.

Supermarkets have been struggling to keep up with demand for products such as toilet paper. Source: AAP

To aid the demand and create more jobs for Australians, Coles has also opened up three new pop-up distribution centres in NSW, Queensland and Victoria, with the potential of more distribution centres opening.

Woolworths has reduced trading hours at 41 stores nationwide to support delivering groceries to the must vulnerable Australians.

Panic buying amid the coronavirus outbreak stripped supermarket shelves bare, while stores were required to roll out social distancing measures to keep both staff and customers safe.

Supermarkets were forced to bring in limits on items for each customer and dedicated shopping times for the most vulnerable customers within the community.

Meanwhile there have been reports of supermarket staff being abused amid the hysteria.

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